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Degradation processes on ice-cored moraines on Svalbard: a terrestrial analog for Mars

Desjardins, Marine and Hauber, Ernst and Bucher, Tilman and Gessner, Matthias and Hiesinger, H. and Schmedemann, N. and Johnsson, Andreas and Ellermann, Fabian and Sassenroth, C. and Brauchle, Jörg and Conway, S. and Noblet, A. (2022) Degradation processes on ice-cored moraines on Svalbard: a terrestrial analog for Mars. Europlanet Science Congress EPSC 2022, 2022-09-18 - 2022-09-23, Granada, Spanien. doi: 10.5194/epsc2022-1035.

Full text not available from this repository.

Official URL: https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EPSC2022/EPSC2022-1035.html


The mid-latitudes of Mars host a large amount of buried ice deposits, which bear a record on the very Late Amazonian climate evolution (107 to 108 yr.) and are a possible resource for future exploration. The reconstruction of the history of these ice reservoirs and the characterization of their current state is critical to enable putting constraints on the interplay between climate change, volatile migration and landform evolution. Examination of terrestrial analogs can help to identify similarities and equally important differences between the response of buried ice on Mars and Earth to changing environmental parameters. Here we report on our long-term investigations of an ice-cored moraine on Svalbard, a proxy for mid-latitude debris-covered glacier on Mars. Our study area is an ice-cored lateral moraine of Kongsvegen glacier on the southern shore of Kongsforden in NW Spitsbergen (Svalbard). This site is subject to rapid degradation by melting and redistribution of surficial sediment, e.g., by thaw slumps and debris flows. We couple multi-year fieldwork with repeat remote-sensing observations. Fieldwork includes DGPS-supported monitoring of surface changes by several imaging methods comparisons to environmental data. In 2008, a flight campaign with HRSC-AX (an airborne version of DLR’s High Resolution Stereo Camera on Mars Express) provided orthoimages (20 cm/px) and a Digital Elevation Model (DEM; 50 cm ground sampling distance, GSD). In 2020 a repeat campaign with DLR’s MACS (Modular Airborne Camera System) achieved ground pixel sizes between 5 cm and 10 cm for RGB images, and 10 cm to 15 cm for NIR images. The associated DEM has the same resolution. MACS also acquires TIR data,which we use to identify regions with anomalous temperatures (e.g., exposed ice). We use for detailed mapping of ice-rich viscous flow features on Mars. This study focuses on the Nereidum Montes area in the northern part of the Argyre basin. Image analysis, mapping of landforms and documentation of results were carried out using the QGIS software. A difference DEM was generated to determine the elevation differences (i.e. volume changes) on the ice-cored moraine between 2008 and 2020. Hillshade layers were created for each dataset to facilitate quick visual identification of morphological changes. Slump scars were digitized in 2008 and 2020 on orthoimages and hillshade views, and prominent slumps of 2020 (most recent, visible and best preserved) have been geomorphologically mapped with a focus on buried dead ice, collapsed sediment, and the relative activity of mud flows. Image analysis and mapping of Martian landforms is currently ongoing. Regarding the detailed mapping of slumps, the area corresponding to the buried dead ice, mapped with the TIR channel, can vary in shape and size depending on the shape of headscarp and the other units, i.e. the collapsed sediments and the mudflows. The collapsed sediments are washed away by the mudflows. The mudflow seems more active near the previously exposed dead ice. Therefore, the degradation of ice-cored moraines takes place mainly through the melting of the ice, which leads to mass wasting and rapid degradation. As Mars does not have the same climatic conditions, it is interesting to see whether the same landforms can be found on it at a very local scale. The Mars case study displays gullies, arcuate ridges with small gullies superposed on their slopes, flow features and also possible sublimation features such as pitted terrain, broad pits, and lineated patterned ground. The area is also filled with washboard terrain which is only found at steep slopes, above the lobate flow feature. It is marked by a close alternation of closely-spaced scarps which are parallel to the contour lines (possible evidence for paraglacial sacking). Tension cracks are also found at the ridges and parallel to gully headscarps indicating recent activity. These tension cracks may be similar to headscarp retreats on backwasting processes on ice-cored moraines. The ice-cored ridge or arcuate ridge may still undergo degradation. The first results show that the degradation processes are rather related to potential ice sublimation and that signs of melting ice, if they exist on Mars, are not strongly encountered, which is consistent with the studies on very Late Amazonian climate evolution.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/188844/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Degradation processes on ice-cored moraines on Svalbard: a terrestrial analog for Mars
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Desjardins, MarineDLR, Institute of Planetary Research, Berlin, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Hauber, ErnstUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-1375-304XUNSPECIFIED
Gessner, MatthiasUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0009-0003-3328-0811UNSPECIFIED
Hiesinger, H.Institute für Planetologie, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Münster, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Schmedemann, N.Institute für Planetologie, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Münster, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Johnsson, AndreasUniversity of Gothenburg, Göteborg, SwedenUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Ellermann, FabianDepartment of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, SwedenUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Sassenroth, C.Università di Pisa, Pisa, ItalyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Brauchle, JörgUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-3556-7643UNSPECIFIED
Conway, S.Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique–UMR CNRS 6112, Nantes, FranceUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Noblet, A.Laboratoire Planétologie et Géodynamique de Nantes, LPGN/CNRS, Université NantesUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Page Range:EPSC2022-1035
Series Name:EPSC Abstracts
Keywords:Permafrost, climate change, ice, periglacial, glacial, Svalbard, geomorphology, geology, terrestrial analogues, Mars, HRSC, MACS, remote sensing, field work
Event Title:Europlanet Science Congress EPSC 2022
Event Location:Granada, Spanien
Event Type:international Conference
Event Start Date:18 September 2022
Event End Date:23 September 2022
Organizer:Europlanet Society
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Project Polar Monitor
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Geology
Institute of Optical Sensor Systems > Real-Time Data Processing
Institute of Optical Sensor Systems > Security Research and Applications
Deposited By: Bucher, Tilman
Deposited On:10 Nov 2022 13:26
Last Modified:24 Apr 2024 20:50

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